Since the start of 2021, there have been numerous signs that Apple Pay will soon arrive in South Africa.
Apple Pay allows iPhone and Apple Watch users to pay with their smart devices using NFC technology after linking a card from a supported bank.
The service requires integration with supported banks and compatibility with their various payment cards to function.
Multiple banks now mention Apple Pay on their websites and mobile apps, and Apple Pay itself includes mention of South Africa in its terms and conditions.
These changes were discovered by users and reported by MyBroadband last month, but there have since been further developments which point towards the imminent launch of the digital payment platform.
Absa’s website now includes a terms and conditions document for Apple Pay, detailing the mechanics of the service and the terms of usage its clients will be subject to when linking Apple Pay to their Absa account.
This document implies that Apple Pay will be supported for debit and credit card holders that are Absa clients, and it describes the functionality of the card enrolment process.
“These terms and conditions govern your use of your eligible debit or credit card issued by Absa Bank when you enrol it for Apple Pay,” Absa said.
“Apple Pay allows you to store virtual representations of your credit and debit cards that are supported by the Apple Pay service and to use supported devices to facilitate transactions, including making contactless payments in select locations, or within apps or websites.”
Other interesting information outlined in this document includes the fact that Absa does not charge any additional fees for using Apple Pay to make card payments.
The full Apple Pay Terms and Conditions document as published on the Absa website is embedded at the end of this article.
Considering the appearance of even more information pointing to the imminent launch of Apple Pay in South Africa, we asked South African banks if they could confirm that Apple Pay will soon be available locally.
Discovery Bank did not provide comment by the time of publication.
Nedbank told MyBroadband that it regularly considers new payment technologies, but did not comment specifically on Apply Pay’s availability in South Africa.
“As affinity for digital payments grows, we continue to accelerate our journey utilising innovative technology that provides our clients with exciting, contactless payments solutions,” Nedbank said.
Standard Bank told MyBroadband that it works with global partners to bring customers the latest in payment technology, but it did not comment on the potential launch of Apple Pay locally.
“Standard Bank is committed to working in partnership with the global digital leaders in order to bring our customers the latest payment innovations, as approved by the Payments Association of South Africa, such as tap-to-pay from smartphones and wearables,” Standard Bank said.
“We will support all future digital payment trends to ensure we give our customers access to the best solutions to enhance their payment experience.”
“We have been live with Samsung Pay and Garmin Pay for a while and will inform our customers of any new supported devices as soon as it becomes available,” the bank said.
FNB has said there is a clear demand for digital solutions and that it “looks forward to providing such solutions for its customers, as and when they become available in South Africa”.
It did not confirm whether Apple Pay would launch soon in South Africa.
“With the introduction of FNB Pay in 2016 (a first in Africa) FNB has been at the forefront of digital payments solutions,” FNB said.
“Since launching FNB Pay, support has been added for Scan to Pay, Samsung Pay, Garmin Pay and Fitbit Pay.”
“Recently, FNB announced the upcoming launch of its virtual card that will further complement our digital payment solutions. FNB looks forward to providing new digital payment solutions for its customers, as and when they become available in South Africa,” the bank said.
Capitec said it would only launch Apple Pay at a much later stage as most of its customers use Android devices.
“We are constantly evaluating all new payment solutions and will continue to offer our clients any relevant functionality that helps the majority of them bank better,” Capitec said.
“As Apple Pay is not available in South Africa yet, and since a relatively small percentage of our clients use an Apple device for their digital banking we will probably only facilitate Apple Pay at a much later stage.”
Absa said it constantly considers new payment technologies as they arrive in South Africa but noted that it is up to Apple to roll out its payment platform locally.
“In our quest to improve the payment experience for our customers, Absa constantly considers various technologies as they become available to the market,” Absa said.
“Our adoption of wallet solutions is guided by the specific capabilities a particular product offers, as well as the potential for market penetration and adoption.”
“Importantly, it is up to the likes of Apple, Google and other technology companies to prioritise South Africa as a rollout country – this is a necessary precursor to Absa adopting and integrating these technologies,” it said.
The bank did not comment on the Apple Pay Terms and Conditions document that appeared on its website.
This document is embedded below.